Cynthia Fritschi, PhD, RN, CDE

  • Assistant Professor
Bio

The overarching goal of my research is to develop ecological interventions to increase physical activity in aging adults with type 2 diabetes in an effort to maximize mobility, enhance quality of life, and attenuate the deleterious effects of diabetes. The short-term goal is to identify patterns in patient-reported outcomes such as fatigue and sleep; biological factors such as glucose variation; and psychological phenomena and their relationship to physical activity. I have a 20-year history as a diabetes clinical nurse specialist and am a certified diabetes educator. Much of my clinical experience has included working with patients who are sedentary; complain of serious and persistent fatigue, poor sleep, fatigue; and feel like they are unable to maintain their diabetes self-management efforts, especially engagement in physical activity.

The primary aim of my current research is to use state-of-the-science ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods to examine the influence of selected baseline characteristics (health/physical status, general fatigue, body composition, depression, and demographic factors) and real-time biobehavioral factors (fatigue, sleep, and blood glucose levels) on physical activity in adults with T2DM. During the past few years, with K99 funding from the NINR and excellent mentorship, I have been able to develop skills in use of real-time data capture, ecological momentary assessment, and sleep disturbances, while enhancing my knowledge of developing randomized, intervention trials in physical activity.

Current Area of Teaching

Graduate Entry Advanced Generalists Master's Program

Course Coordinator: NURS 421 Pathophysiology

Guest Lecturer: NURS 422 Pharmacology

Service / Practice

UIC Faculty Senator
CON Faculty Executive Committee
UIC CON Graduate Admission & Academic Standards Committee

Selected Honors & Awards
  • 1993 Sigma Theta Tau (inducted at Rush University, Chicago, IL)
  • 2004 Finalist: University of Illinois at Chicago General Clinical Research Center Travel Award Competition 
  • 2005 Seth Rosen Graduate Student Award, University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • 2010 Research Fellowship, CDC Physical Activity and Public Health Course
  • 2012 Janet A. Deatrick & UIC College of Nursing Junior Faculty Research Award
  • 2012 Representative Expert reviewer for the American Association of Diabetes Educators: Position Statement: Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes: A Patient-­Centered Approach from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)
  • 2013 Finalist: Society for Behavioral Medicine, Diabetes Special Interest Group Travel Award
Selected Publications
Publications (*denotes data-based paper.  Senior author underlined).
  • *Fritschi, C., Park, H., Richardson, A., Park, C., Riesche, L., Collins, E.G., Mermelstein, R., & Quinn, L (2015, In Press). Temporal association between time spent in sedentary behavior and duration of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes.  Biological Research for Nursing.
  • *Park, H., Fritschi, C., Park, C., & Quinn, L. Glucose Control and fatigue in type 2 diabetes: The mediating roles of diabetes symptoms, and distress. J Adv Nurs. (2015) Feb 18. doi: 10.1111/jan.12632. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25690988.
  • *Fritschi, C. & Redeker, N.S. (2015). Contributions of Comorbid Diabetes to Sleep Characteristics, Daytime Symptoms, and Physical Function among Patients with Stable Heart Failure. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, (30) 5, 411-419. PMID: 25078876
  • Ryan, C. J., Choi, H., Fritschi, C., Hershberger, P. E., Vincent, C. V., Hacker, E. D., Zerwic, J. J., Norr, K., Park, H., Tastan, S., Keenan, G. M., Finnegan, L., Zhao, Z., Gallo, A. M., & Wilkie, D. J. (2013). Challenges and solutions for using informatics in research. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 35(6), 722-741.
  • *Fritschi, C., Collins, E. G., O'Connell, S., McBurney, C., Butler, J., & Edwards L. (2013). The effects of smoking status on walking ability and health-related quality of life in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 28(4), 380-386.
  • *Chang, A. K., Park, Y. H., Fritschi, C., & Kim, M. J. (2013). A Family Involvement and Patient-Tailored Health Management Program in Elderly Korean Stroke Patients' Day Care Centers. Rehabilitation Nursing, [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 23720087
  • *Chang, A. K., Fritschi, C., & Kim, M. J. (2013). Sedentary behavior, physical activity, and psychological health of Korean older adults with hypertension: effect of an empowerment intervention. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 6(2), 81-88.
  • *Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., Hacker, E. D., Penckofer, S. M., Wang, E., Foreman, M., & Ferrans, C. E. (2012). Fatigue in women with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 38(5), 662-672.
  • *Collins, E. G., McBurney, C., Butler, J., Jelinek, C., O'Connell, S., Fritschi, C., & Reda, D. (2012). The Effects of Walking or Walking-with-Poles Training on Tissue Oxygenation in Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease. International Journal of Vascular Medicine, Epub 2012 Sep 25.
  • *Chang, A. K., Fritschi, C., & Kim, M. J. (2012). Nurse-led empowerment strategies for hypertensive patients with metabolic syndrome. Contemporary Nurse, 42(1), 118-128.
  • Fritschi, C., & Fink, A. M. (2012). Fatigue in adults with type 2 diabetes: An overview of current understanding and management approaches. European Journal of Endocrinology, 8(2), 80-83.
  • *Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., Penckofer, S., & Surdyk, P. M. (2010). Continuous glucose monitoring: the experience of women with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 36(2), 250-257.
  • Fritschi, C., & Quinn, L. (2010). Fatigue in patients with diabetes: A review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69(1), 33-41.
  • *Faulkner, M. S., Quinn, L., & Fritschi, C. (2010). Microalbuminuria and heart rate variability in adolescents with diabetes. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 24(1), 34-41.
  • *Faulkner, M.S., Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Hepworth, J. (2010). Cardiovascular risks in adolescents with diabetes from vulnerable populations. Home Health Care Management and Practice, 22(2), 123-130.
  • *Shaibi, G. Q., Michaliszyn, S. B., Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Faulkner, M. S. (2009). Type 2 diabetes in youth: A phenotype of poor cardiorespiratory fitness and low physical activity. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 4(4), 332-337.
  • *Michaliszyn, S. F., Shaibi, G. Q., Quinn, L., Fritschi, C., & Faulkner, M. S. (2009). Physical fitness, dietary intake, and metabolic control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes, 10(6), 389-394.
  • *Shaibi, G. Q., Faulkner, M. S., Weigensberg, M. J., Fritschi, C., & Goran, M. I. (2008). Cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity in youth with type 2 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes, 9(5), 460-463.
  • *Faulkner, M. S., Chao, W. H., Kamath, S. K., Quinn, L., Fritschi, C., Maggiore, J. A., Williams, R. H., & Reynolds, R. D. (2006). Total homocysteine, diet, and lipid profiles in type 1 and type 2 diabetic and nondiabetic adolescents. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 21(1), 47-55.
  • Fritschi, C., & Richlin, D. (2004). The metabolic syndrome--early action to decrease risks for cardiovascular disease. AAOHN Journal, 52(8), 320-322.
  • Fritschi, C. (2001). Preventive care of the diabetic foot. The Nursing Clinics of North America, 36(2), 303-320, vii.
Invited Commentary
  • Fritschi C. (2012). Use of real-time continuous glucose monitoring versus traditional self-monitoring of blood glucose levels improves glycaemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes. Evidence-Based Nursing, 15(1), 7-8.
Public Media
  • 2012 Interviewed about work in fatigue in diabetes by three health internet websites with stories published online.
Book Chapter
  • Quinn, L. & Fritschi, C. (Contributor). Chapter 53: Caring for the Patient with Diabetes. In K. Osborn, A. Watson, C. & Wraa (Eds.), Medical-Surgical Nursing (5th ed.). 2010. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Abstracts
  • Fritschi, C., Park, C., Quinn, L., Park, H., Richardson, A., Collins, E.G., & Mermelstein, R.(2014) Dynamic Fatigue and Glucose Levels in Diabetes: Joint Trajectories of Patterns and their Predictive Ability. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine: 21 (Suppl 1).  Poster presentation: International Congress of Behavioral Medicine; Groningen, Netherlands, August, 2014.
  • Fritschi, C., Park, C., Quinn, L., Park, H., Richardson, A., Mermelstein, R., Collins, E. (2014) Glucose, Physical Activity, and Fatigue: Temporal Relationships in T2DM. Diabetes 63 (Suppl.1), A195. Poster and guided audio tour presentation: American Diabetes Association 74th Annual Scientific Sessions, San Francisco, CA.
  • Fritschi, C., Park, C., Quinn, L., Park, H., Richardson, A., Collins, E.G., & Mermelstein, R.(2014) Fatigue Patterns in T2DM: Effects of Gender & Blood Glucose. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 47 (Suppl). Poster presentation: Society for Behavioral Medicine, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Fritschi, C., Park, C., Mermelstein, R., Quinn, L., Collins, E.G., & Richardson, A. (2013) Exploratory Analysis of Real-Time Measures of Sleep and their Effects on Physical Activity in T2DM. Diabetes, 62 (Suppl 1), A202. Poster & guided audio tour presentation: American Diabetes Association 73rd Annual Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL.
  • Fritschi, C., Park, C., Quinn, L., Richardson, A., Collins, E.G., & Mermelstein, R. (2013) Emerging Dynamic Patterns in the Relationship between Physical Activity and Glucose Levels in Type 2 DM: A Pilot Study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 45(Suppl 2), s16. Poster presentation: Society for Behavioral Medicine, Annual Meeting San Francisco.
  • Fritschi, C. & Collins, E.G. The Effects of Smoking on Walking Ability and Quality of Life in Adults with Type 2 DM and Peripheral Arterial Disease. (2012). Annals of Behavioral Medicine 43(supplement 1), s229. Poster presentation: Society for Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting, Washington DC.
  • Fritschi, C. & Quinn, L. (June, 2010) Physical activity habits and predictors in healthy midlife women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, 62 (Suppl 1), A202. Poster presentation at American Diabetes Association 70th Scientific Sessions, Orlando, FL.
  • Byrn, M., Penckofer, S., Loftus, S., Quinn, L., Fritschi, C., & Ferrans, C. (2010, April) Glycemic variability impacts mood and quality of life in women with diabetes. Poster presentation: Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MS.
  • Fritschi, C. & Quinn, L. (2008, September). Continuous blood glucose monitoring in women with type 2 diabetes: A potential method for changing behavior. Poster session presented at the 5th International Council of Nurses International Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing Network (INP/APNN) Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Wang, E. (2008). Fatigue in women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, 57 (Suppl 1) A519. Poster presentation at American Diabetes Association 68th Scientific Sessions, San Francisco, CA.
  • Faulkner, M. S., Fleet, S. B., Fritschi, C., Quinn, L. (2008). Personal and behavioral factors linked to cardiovascular risks in adolescents with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, 57 (Supplement 1), A756-A7.
  • Fleet, S. B., Shaibi, G. Q., Quinn, L., Fritschi, C. J., & Faulkner, M. S. (2008, June). Physical fitness and metabolic control in adolescents with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (Supplement 1), 40 (5), S21. Oral Presentation at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Shaibi, G. Q., Fleet, S. B., Fritschi, C. J., Quinn, L., & Faulkner, M. S. (2008, June). Type 2 diabetes in youth: A phenotype of low cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced physical activity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (Supplement 1), 40 (5), S73. Oral Presentation at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Fritschi, C., Smith, D., Watkins, Y., & Quinn, L. (2007). Diabetes symptoms versus glucose levels and fatigue in women. Diabetes, 56 (Suppl. 1), A506. Poster presentation at American Diabetes Association 67th Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL.
  • Faulkner, M., Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Shaibi, G. (2007). Cardiovascular health and quality of life in adolescents with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, 56 (Suppl.), A502. Poster presentation at American Diabetes Association 67th Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL.
  • Faulkner MS, Fritschi C, Quinn L, et al. (2006). Adolescents with type 2 versus type 1 diabetes exhibit greater cardiovascular risks. Circulation, 113 (8), E345.
  • Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Faulkner, M. S. (2006). Physical activity intensity linked to cardiovascular health in adolescents’ diabetes. Diabetes, 55 (Suppl. 1), A423. Poster presentation at American Diabetes Association 66th Scientific Sessions, San Diego, CA.
  • Faulkner, M. S., Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Rich, B. H. (2005). Quality of life for adolescents with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, 54 (Suppl. 1), A467.
  • Faulkner, M. S., Quinn, L., Fritschi, C., Rimmer, J. H., & Rich, B. H. (2004, June). Biobehavioral factors and cardiovascular endurance in adolescents with diabetes. Diabetes, 53 (Suppl 1), A442. Poster presentation at 64th American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, Orlando, FL.
  • Fritschi, C., Chang, L., Chavez, N., Rich, B., Quinn, L., & Faulkner, M. S. (2004, June). Dietary intake and behaviors among adolescents with diabetes. Diabetes, 53 (Suppl 2), A558.
  • Faulkner, M., Quinn, L., Fritschi, C, Rimmer, L., Carley, D., & Rich, B. H. (2003). Exercise capacity and beliefs as links to cardiovascular risks in adolescents with diabetes. Diabetes, 52 (Suppl 1), A412.
  • Faulkner, M. S., Fritschi, C. J., Quinn, L., Rich, B., Rimmer, J. H., & Wang, Y. (2002). Differences in aerobic capacity of adolescents with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, 51 (Suppl 2), A539.
Presentations (* invited)
  • Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Park, C. (June 2015) The Effects of Activity and glucose on fatigue in Type 2 Diabetes: Elucidating Relationships by Time Aggregate and Gender. Oral Presentation: International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity, University of Limerick, Ireland.
  • Zhu, B., Fritschi, C. (June 2015) Patient Reported Outcomes as Predictors of Sleep in T2DM Adults. Poster Presentation: American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, Boston, MA.
  • *Fritschi, C., (November 2014) Momentary Biobehavioral Effects on Physical Activity in Adults with T2 Diabetes.  Oral Presentation: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL. Cardiovascular Research from early Career Nurse Scientists
  • * Fritschi, C. (October, 2014) Glucose, Physical Activity, and Fatigue: Temporal Relationships in Type 2 Diabetes. Oral presentation: UIC Diabetes and Obesity Research Day. Chicago, IL.
  • * Fritschi, C: Keynote Address, UIC Inaugural White Coat Ceremony, September 2014.
  • Park, H., Fritschi, C., Park, CG, Richardson, A., & Quinn, L. (June 2013) Latent Class Cluster Analysis of Glucose Variability among People with Type 2 Diabetes. Poster Presentation: American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL.
  • Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Richardson, A. (March 2013) Physical activity habits in healthy midlife women with type 2 diabetes. Oral presentation: Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
  • *Fritschi, C. (March, 2011). Fatigue and Physical Activity in Women with Type 2 Diabetes. University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing Research Day.
  • Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., Ferrans, C., Foreman, M., Hacker, E., Penckofer, S., & Wang, E. (March 2009) Predictors of Fatigue in Women with Type 2 Diabetes. Oral presentation: Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Faulkner, M. S., Fritschi, C., Quinn, L., & Hepworth, J. T. (2008, October) Sociodemographic influences on cardiovascular risks in youth with type 1 vs. type 2 diabetes. Poster presentation at the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science Meeting, Washington, DC.
  • *Fritschi, C. (March, 2008) Fatigue, Exercise, and Diabetes. University of Illinois College of Nursing: Research Day.
  • *Fritschi, C. (March 2006): Heart Rate Variability Measurement Issues. Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI.
  • *Fritschi, C. (March, 2002): Diabetes 2002: Clinical Treatment Strategies. Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Meeting Pre-Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • *Fritschi, C. (September, 2000): The Diabetic Heart. South Suburban Chapter of the American Dietetic Association.
  • * Fritschi, C. (March. 2000): Diabetes Clinical Update. 9th Annual Advances in Medical-Surgical Nursing Conference.
  • *Fritschi, C. (1994) State of the Art Diabetes Management. Nursing Grand Rounds, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Other Research Activities
  • 2000-2007 Project Manager: Cardiovascular Risks in Adolescents with Diabetes NIH/NINR R01 NR007719, Melissa S. Faulkner, PI.
Current Research

1R00-NR012219 Fritschi (PI) 07/2012-06/30/2015
NIH/NINR
Momentary Biobehavioral Effects on Physical Activity in Adults with T2 Diabetes
The goal of this study is to use real-time data collection instruments and ecological momentary assessment methods to identify co-variation in hourly fluctuations between continuously monitored glucose levels, self-reported fatigue, sleep quality, and physical activity in aging adults with type 2 diabetes.